Kenya: Lodwar Clinic and Turkana Drought Relief and Mobile Medical Outreach Project
Essential Health Services Provided for Rural Populations: Q1 2017
April 17, 2017
Dr. Dominic Ongaki, Emma Kiriungi, and Veronica Ereng
Summary of Activities
During this first two-month reporting period (February and March 2017), we successfully carried out 24 outreach activities at 12 outreach sites.
Essential health services provided to area residents:
- 1,785 (1,215 children and 570 pregnant and lactating mothers) received nutrition services.
- 1,139 (443 children and 696 adults) were treated for general ailments.
- 674 people received deworming services.
- 227 children were fully immunized.
- 581 pregnant mothers received antenatal services.
- 652 (463 children and 189 pregnant and lactating mothers) received Vitamin A supplementation.
- 1,531 people received public health messages through public health education.
Working in partnership with RMF has enabled Turkana Central sub-county to reach rural populations that would otherwise have difficulty accessing medical services. The project has safeguarded this population from exploitative witchdoctors who have taken advantage of their need for medical attention. Also, the nomadic nature of our population makes accessibility to services a major challenge. With this program, we are able to reach as many people as we can in their temporary settlements. This has resulted in performance indicators’ improvement, showing overall health gains for the population.
Many women and children have benefited from the outreaches through nutrition services and Vitamin A supplementation. Using MUAC (mid-upper arm circumference), clients were categorized as having normal nutritional status or being severely or moderately malnourished. A total of 1,785 children and pregnant and lactating mothers benefited from nutritional support.
A total of 652 children and pregnant and lactating mothers received Vitamin A supplementation.
Building Immunity in Children
The project has also enabled communities in remote areas to access vaccination as a way of improving the immunity of our children. During this reporting period, we have been able to fully immunize 227 children. As a sub-county, we have noted a remarkable improvement in FIC achievements. Additionally, other children have benefited from various immunization antigens like OPV3, Penta 1, Penta 3, and Measles 3.
A total of 674 clients received deworming services. This is a boost in our performance, given that in the previous quarter as a sub-county we had performed dismally in this indicator. With our continued partnership, we anticipate tremendous improvements as we reach more people in remote areas.
Serving the Disadvantaged
In the effort to promote quality services for pregnant women, reduce maternal mortality rates, and improve pregnancy outcomes, outreaches to disadvantaged communities play a key role. During this reporting period, we managed to provide antenatal services to 581 pregnant women. Many women received a tetanus toxoid vaccination, IFAS, and Vitamin A supplementation. This is an indicator that we are closely monitoring, especially 4th ANC coverage, with the goal of improving skilled deliveries performance and eventually a reduction in maternal mortality rates.
Reducing Mortality Rates
One of the key activities within this project is management of minor illnesses and other conditions affecting the target population. The county government has been supportive in terms of* providing essential drugs to enable us to offer treatment for conditions like malaria, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, skin conditions, and eye infections*. This has contributed to a reduction in mortality caused by these conditions. During this reporting period, we were able to offer treatment to 1,139 clients, of which 443 were children and 696 were adults.
Health Promotion and Education
During each outreach activity, our dedicated staff begins by giving health talks to the target population. This empowers the community with quality knowledge on how to protect themselves from a number of health-related conditions. During this reporting period, the community was educated on a number of topics, including MNH, immunization, public and environmental health, and HIV and other STIs. All talks are aimed at curbing the spread of health-related conditions by putting in place adequate control measures to mitigate these. We managed to reach a total of 1,531 individuals with such messages during this reporting period.
After responding to a September 7th, 2009 NY Times article by Jeffrey Gettleman, which highlighted the life threatening impact of the drought in Northern Kenya, Real Medicine Foundation coordinated a supply chain for water and food aid, and medical support to the region. We were able to provide a 4-week supply of food and water to 4,500 persons in severely drought affected regions of Turkana, Kenya where it had not rained in 4 years.
- Provide Medicines and Medical supplies to meet the needs of the targeted population
- Increase Mobile/Outreach Clinics in the remote villages
- Provide Medical Services at the Health Facility in Lodwar Town:
- Supporting the physical/medical needs of the targeted population
- Home visiting
- Referrals of patients needing advanced care to tertiary care hospital, and HIV and TB government clinics
- Teaching about and providing nutritious food